Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News

Antigun Democrat Introduces Partisan Ammunition Control Bill, Claims No “Right to Bear Bullets”

Friday, March 30, 2018

Antigun Democrat Introduces Partisan Ammunition Control Bill, Claims No “Right to Bear Bullets”

On Monday, U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) introduced the Ammunition Background Check Act of 2018. Wasserman Schultz claimed the act would close an “absurd loophole” by “requiring all buyers of ammunition” to undergo the same sort of background checks that currently apply to the purchase of a firearm from a licensed dealer. While the text of the bill has yet to be publicly released, the description provided on Wasserman Schultz’s website indicates it would apply to both dealer and private sales. 

Far from being a “loophole,” however, the absence of a federal ammunition background check reflects the fact that point-of-sale record keeping for ammunition purchases has already been tried, tested, and discarded as a failure. The Gun Control Act of 1968 originally required ammunition dealers to be licensed and to record ammunition sales, similar to the requirements that continue to pertain to sales of firearms by licensed dealers. In 1982, .22 caliber rimfire ammunition was exempted from the federal record keeping requirements, followed in 1986 by the repeal of both the licensing and record keeping requirements as they pertained to ammunition dealers. An official from the ATF testifying on the 1986 bill characterized the proposed repeal as a “positive” development, noting that the then-existing requirements had “no substantial law enforcement value” and that “their elimination would remove an unnecessary recordkeeping burden from licensees.” 

Needless to say, federally prohibited persons experience little difficulty defeating current background checks requirements for firearms through theft, illegal purchases on the secondary market, borrowing firearms from criminal associates, and the use of straw purchasers. Firearms must bear mandatory markings and unique serial numbers, however, which at least allow investigators to trace them back to the original retail purchaser to generate leads that may help explain how guns came to be diverted to criminal use.

Requiring similar markings for every round of ammunition sold, however, would be prohibitively expensive, if not altogether impractical. And without such markings, ammunition would be virtually impossible to account for after the first retail sale. This helps explain why the original record-keeping requirements were considered useless and why re-imposing ammunition controls would be a waste of time. 

Simply put, criminals could and would violate the requirements easily and with impunity. Meanwhile law-abiding dealers and purchasers would be saddled with gratuitous paperwork and all the problems inherent in the current background check system, including delays, false positives, and the laborious and lengthy process of correcting erroneous or incomplete information. The Act would also effectively ban direct online ammunition sales, the most affordable option for those who use large amounts of ammunition in training and competitive shooting. The bill might also make sharing or borrowing ammunition at a range or on a hunt effectively illegal. 

No doubt, the “designed to fail” nature of the scheme would only tee up calls to close further “loopholes,” including calls to encode or serialize every round of ammunition that goes to market and to impose registries and caps on ammunition purchases. It would also likely re-impose dealer licensing for ammunition sellers, with all the expense and ATF bureaucracy that entails. 

Ammunition background checks are such a bad idea, in fact, that even the most antigun jurisdictions have generally avoided them. One Northeastern state enacted a law to require them, to much fanfare, but then quietly abandoned the effort without ever actually implementing the requirements. Out West, another state is in the midst of trying to figure out how to implement its own recently-enacted law, with absurdities such as mandatory fingerprinting of non-residents seeking to buy ammunition while visiting the state.  

Showing ignorance not just of the subject matter of her bill but also of the Bill of Rights, Wasserman Schultz insisted at a press conference, “You do not have the right to bear bullets.” This erroneous assertion is in keeping with a growing antipathy toward the Second Amendment among many members of the party for which she was formerly National Committee chairwoman, 39% of whom favor the amendment’s repeal.  It also aligns Wasserman Schultz with Hillary Clinton, the party’s defeated 2016 presidential nominee, who infamously claimed “the Supreme Court is wrong on the Second Amendment.” Wasserman Schultz, of course, resigned from her chairwoman post in disgrace when emails made public by Wikileaks showed that she used the Democratic Party apparatus to conspire against Bernie Sanders and in favor of Hillary Clinton during the presidential primaries.

Little surprise Wasserman Schultz now seeks redemption among her party peers through the introduction of opportunistic and ill-considered gun control legislation. Her backward-looking bill, however, would only burden legitimate firearm-related commerce while doing nothing to hinder criminals.

TRENDING NOW
Atlantic Writer Promotes Culture War on Gun Ownership

News  

Monday, September 13, 2021

Atlantic Writer Promotes Culture War on Gun Ownership

Canadian-born political commentator and George W. Bush-era speechwriter David Frum has taken a break from promoting actual wars in the Middle East to advocate for a culture war on gun ownership here at home.

Biden Administration Bans Importation of Russian Ammunition

News  

Sunday, August 22, 2021

Biden Administration Bans Importation of Russian Ammunition

The Biden Administration’s Department of State announced that it will soon prohibit the importation of Russian ammunition into the United States. According to a release on the Department of State’s website, “[n]ew and pending permit applications ...

The Second Amendment Now Comes with Government-Issued “Harmful Language Alert”

News  

Monday, September 13, 2021

The Second Amendment Now Comes with Government-Issued “Harmful Language Alert”

The absurdity and dysfunction of the Biden Administration have become so pervasive that it’s easy to become numb to it all. But some things it does are still so outrageous and inconceivable – touching on ...

Texas: Attorney General Ken Paxton's Office Puts Woke Corporations on Notice

Friday, September 10, 2021

Texas: Attorney General Ken Paxton's Office Puts Woke Corporations on Notice

As NRA-ILA reported to you last week, a dozen new pro-Second Amendment bills took effect on September 1, including Senate Bill 19 sponsored by State Sen. Charles Schwertner (R-Georgetown) and State Rep. Gio Capriglione (R-Southlake).  Taxpayer dollars should ...

The Truth about Radicals

News  

Monday, September 13, 2021

The Truth about Radicals

A once-reputable magazine used gunshot victims as a lever in the debate over medical treatment, using the claims of an untruthful doctor who would, apparently, say anything to advance his public health agenda.

Biden Reiterates Call to Ban 9mm Handguns

News  

Monday, July 26, 2021

Biden Reiterates Call to Ban 9mm Handguns

During a July 21 CNN “presidential town hall,” Joe Biden expressed his support for a ban on commonly-owned handguns. Responding to a question about the recent increase in violent crime, the career politician stated,

Trudeau Ramps Up Gun Control Promises, Makes Guns a Wedge Issue

News  

Monday, September 13, 2021

Trudeau Ramps Up Gun Control Promises, Makes Guns a Wedge Issue

With days to go until the September 20 snap election called by Justin Trudeau, the Liberal Party leader and current Prime Minister, face the possibility of losing seats. As of early September, the Conservative Party had overtaken Trudeau’s Liberals as ...

NRA Files Comments Opposing ATF’s “Stabilizing Brace” Proposed Rule

News  

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

NRA Files Comments Opposing ATF’s “Stabilizing Brace” Proposed Rule

As we’ve previously reported, the Biden Department of Justice is threatening to upend the U.S. firearm industry and how Americans exercise their Second Amendment rights.

NRA Reacts to the Withdrawal of the David Chipman Nomination

News  

Thursday, September 9, 2021

NRA Reacts to the Withdrawal of the David Chipman Nomination

The NRA applauds the reported withdraw of David Chipman's nomination to head the ATF.

California: Registration for “Assault Weapons” to Re-Open

Friday, September 10, 2021

California: Registration for “Assault Weapons” to Re-Open

The California Department of Justice has announced that they will reopen the registration period of “bullet button assault weapons” from January 13, 2022 until April 12, 2022, due to a federal court order. This time ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.